Saturday, August 30, 2014

Back in the Day

Reminiscing about days gone bye.  Don't necessarily want to go back in time, but:

1.  Listening to the attic fan pulling bugs through the screened window

2.  Hand cranking homemade ice cream.

3.  Cotton trailer stomping parties during picking season

4.  Being hot a thirsty from mowing yards and killing a quart coke in those returnable bottles.

5.  RC Cola and a moon pie!

6.  First time to ever microwave a whole egg.  Kaboom!

7.  Riding in the back of a pickup!

8.  First time finding WZZQ on the FM band on the radio.

9.  First adult purchase.  A Pioneer receiver and a pair of Jenson speakers.  Damn!  You mean I gotta add a turn table and cassette deck too!

10.  That first Olds Cutlass that looked like the 442!

11.  My bright yellow firebird.  Got more tickets in the shortest time span in that car!

12.  My second pair of glasses.  Wire rimmed frames paid for with my own hard earned money!

13.  First time I ever saw a piece of filet mignon.  What the hell is that small round ball of meat????

14.  First Ole Miss football game.  Brother Jim, Billy Davis and I went with Billy's uncle, Gordon Wayne Davis, parking the car in the Grove, and seeing Southern Miss beat Archie Manning and his Rebels.

15.  Coming to Jackson to Memorial Stadium for a double header.  Ole Miss vs LSU during the day then MSU vs Alabama.

16.  First time seeing puppies born.  You gotta be kidding me!!!!

17.  Mississippi Delta dove hunts!

18.  First time to buy a fifth of whiskey.  17 years old, football weekend in Starkville.  I can still see the snicker on that old man's face as he handed me my change!

19. Discovering the Manhattan's album "After Midnight" with the girl of my dreams.  Been dreaming with the same gal ever since.

20.  First trip to New Orleans.  Haven't been the same since!

I sure hope my memory never fades.  I've had way too much fun in my lifetime to begin forgetting it now.  Been fin, and I ain't done yet!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Internet Shopper

I was working my job as an assembly technician yesterday in the City of Vicksburg.  After putting in a long day, I now understand the term "the dog days summer", in August.  OMG, was it hot!

I finished my last item, then headed to the receiving department, to begin the process of disposing of all my trash.  As I made my way, I noticed a grill still in a box that was a custom order.  I thought, that dude shoulda requested for it to be assembled, free at Home Depot.

Trash all done, I headed to the service desk to get the required signature on my paperwork.  Get there, and the service manager is busy with a customer.  OK, guess I'll wait my turn.  At least its cool inside.

As I wait, I observe that the service manager if working with this customer, who had placed an internet order.  He bought the exact model that was in the box back in receiving.  The manager tells him that his grill is here, and back in receiving.  I'm thinking, yep, this old guy shoulda had it assembled.

The customer, then says, " and I want it assembled".  I'm standing there, next to him, in my assembler t-shirt.    I'm thinking, you know, I've been here all day, I'm hot, I'm tired, I'm covered in sweat, I'm gonna just keep my mouth shut!

The service manager says "I'm checking with the sales associate in the garden center to see how long it will take the assembler to put it together for you.  He is here today and he only comes one day a week now that the summer is winding down. Up to this point she has not looked my way during this entire transaction. Mouth is still shut.

Customer says OK, and decides he wants to inspect the box for damage.  Off he goes.  My mouth is still shut.  Its now my turn.

Service manager finally looks up, and I hand her my invoice for her to sign.  Startled, she says, " oh, you're the assembly tech!". I say yes ma'am.  She then asks the dreaded question "you got time"?   I tell her that I have been here since 7 this morning (its now 4:20), and they brought a bunch of items to assemble, but that grill wasn't one of them.  She kinda chuckles, and says that this order was an online purchase and the sale did not come through until 4. I say, " that was twenty minutes ago, and I've been standing here for at least ten!"

The guy was at home and ordered the grill online.  Home Depot sent him an automated text message indicating that the grill was at his local Home Depot, waiting on him.  He must a flew to get to the store in ten minutes, and he was expecting it to already be assembled?

Wow!  See how amazing ordering off the internet can be?  Sorry dude, grill won't be assembled for another week!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Life Lessons

In all of my almost 58 years, there are some things you should not try to learn on your own:

1. Buying a car.  You would think that something that big would not take all day to purchase.  After you're done, you feel like you've been beat up with a broom stick and then you feel that stick again when you take it in for a service item that ain't covered by that extended warranty that they "snuck into the contract"!

2.  Cooking with an iron skillet.  First off you never start off with a brand new one.  You give the new one to your parents and take theirs, then bring it back in a year.  Get your momma (or daddy) to show you how to clean it and keep it seasoned.  My uncle had one so old that he eventually cooked a hole in it!

3.  Driving a standard transmission vehicle.  This is something that must be learned.  I still feel the effects of whiplash from teaching the spousal unit and the boys.  Once you learn it, you never forget it, or the process it took to learn it.

4.  Setting up a tailgating tent.  Don't know how many times I see folks with pinched fingers or broken poles from setting up one of these tents the first time.  Then they get in a hurry during take down and learn them all over again.

5.  Cooking a turkey for the first time.  Amazing how intelligent people can't just look it up on the internet.  " Damn!  I didn't know it had a neck up in the carcass?  And what do you mean, when you say a sack of innards???"   Then there are those that darn near burn the house down trying to fry one!

6.  Go Sam's Wholesale Club.  Never go by yourself the first time.  You won't stop grabbing until your cart is full, and still you might grab a second one.  Then, how do you get all that stuff home and where do you store it?

7.  Power tools, enough said.  Done cut myself, done cut a few 11cords, drilled and stapled a finger or two.  Still have all my digits though.

8.  Turn a parent over the age of 70 loose on a computer without monitoring their activity for a couple of hours.  Mine ended up on eBay in less than 24 hours!  The other set of grandparents never know how all those popups got on their machine!

9.  Homemade ice cream.  Seriously!  One neighbor forgot to put the dasher in and didn't figure that out until an hour later.  Another plugged up the drain hole in the bucket, causing salt water to creep into the freezer bucket!

10.   Women.  Raised by one.  Got a sister.  Been married to one for over 30 years and still trying to figure them out!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Football, Politically Correct

Football season is officially upon us.  High School Jamborees have arrived, and NFL preseason games are in full swing.  With the way the world is evolving, eventually political correctness will totally take over the football arena.

Already, inappropriate banners are banned from high school stadiums.  No more "we're gonna beat the crap out of you".  Now its just " go team go!"

In the NFL, the Washington Redskins are in a battle to keep their team name and logo.  You gotta be kidding me.  The New Orleans Saints are all about smash mouth football, and they are the "saints?". The Tennessee " Titans", now that makes a whole lot more sense.

In the town of Oxford, they have a bigger battle on their hands.  The Rebel flag: it took some maneuvering to rid the stadium of these.  First the school stopped supplying them.  Then they finally had to ban sticks from the stadium.  Hummmm,  the drummers still have theirs.  Colonel Reb:  this character was modeled after a black man.  His image was removed from the football helmets.  Then,  he was dropped as a school representative, and not allowed on the field of play.  Next, he was banned from the stadium, regardless of who was wearing the suit.  Now, the trademarked image is locked up in the vault and no longer available for sale.  And the Black Bear, you gotta be kidding me.....

These Rebel fans are now in an uproar over the use of their beloved "Ole Miss".  Dan Jones has stepped on a hornets nest in his attempt to make this name go away.  I can just hear it " first DOWN, the University of Mississippi!". Or "We ARE, the University of Mississippi Rebels!". Sorry, just too wordy.  And the team name, " Rebels", don't even go there, yet......

 At Mississippi State, the cowbell has made its return.  It was banned when the Auburn head coach complained that it made too much noise.  Now that college stadiums can hold over 100,000 screaming fans it has become a mute point and now the bell is back, clanging away, until the center is over the ball.  Now that the stadium expansion is complete, forming a continuous "U", the bulldog fan noise factor has just gone up!  And I guess State's favorite cheer " go to hell Ole Miss, go to hell" will be soon forgotten. TSUN was a stroke of genius by Dan Mullen......

I'm guessing concessions will be taking the next hit.  Hot dogs will be vegan dogs.  It already started when they pulled the Bryan Hot Dog, for that Carolina Pride dog two years ago.  Burgers, if you can find one, will be veggie burgers.  Pulled pork nachos will become humus nachos.  And pork skins, forget about it!  Sugar is supposed to be bad for you, so say good bye to that coke you've been putting in your bourbon!  Peanuts will be banned when the cleanup crews start protesting about the mess!

Stay tuned for what they come up with next!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Beaching Secrets

Mixed feelings today as we head home tomorrow.  Since this is our last beach trip for 2014, I figured it was time to let ya know about some of the secrets and hints for a fun time at the beach.

If you just got married and you are on your honeymoon, you don't need any help.  You probably won't ever leave your room!
If you have a 1-2 year old, bring grand parents along.  They make great babysitters that give you free time to enjoy the beach.

Beach chair and umbrella setups run around $40 per day.  Invest in a set of good beach chairs and an umbrella that run about $100.  You have already saved money and you should get 1-3 years use out of them.

If your beach front is a bit overcrowded, consider moving to a State park.  Admission is about $6 for up to eight people in Florida.  Be sure to pack a picnic lunch, and plenty of cool drinks.  With your own umbrella and chairs you will have a great time on a sparsely populated stretch of beach.

My cooler of choice is a soft sided one.  Sometimes I bring two.  Bring along some Capri Sun's and freeze them as a great substitute for ice.  Margaritas made the mofght before and frozen in quart ziploc bags are my favorite ice substitute.  This beats hauling/dragging a big cooler around, or worse that heavy Yeti!

Use Gladware or Ziploc storage boxes for transporting sandwiches.  They stay dry and keep their shape better.

We stay in units that have washers and dryers in the units.  You go home with clean clothes.  Its such a relief to walk in the door at home knowing the laundry is already done.

When eating out, go early.  Much shorter wait if you go between 5&6.  If you have a large party, break it into parties of 4-6 and you will get seated faster, and you avoid that 18% add on for a mandatory tip.  I'm a pretty good tipper unless the service sucks.

If you are leaving real early in the morning, grab the luggage cart the night before.  No scrambling around the next morning looking for it!

If you have a Netflix account, don't forget to bring your latest movies along or a patch cable for the online ones.  Saves you a trip to Redbox and the DVDs at the complex are usually dated.

Check with the complex before you start you trip too see if the have a grill area, and whether its gas or charcoal.  This helps you decide about cooking and eating in a night or two.

Its been a great season of beaching for the spousal unit and yours truly.  We are already working on plans for next year, probably the Sandestin and Panama City beaches.  Would love to have some company !

Thursday, August 14, 2014

You Know Its Time

Every vacation trip must eventually come to an end.  Fortunately ours still has two more days.  There are signs that appear that give you hints that the end is near:

When you have used up a whole roll of toilet paper in each bathroom, you know its almost time.

When you open up the refrigerator to discover there are only leftovers on the shelves, you know its is almost time.

When you have gone thru two fifths of tequila making margaritas you know its time.

When you have sunburn on burn, you know its almost time.

When you get a notice from your credit card company that you are over your limit, it is definitely time.

When you have eaten at all of your favorite restaurants, its almost time.

When you spend time on the beach with the timeshare sales lady you know you have overstayed, and its time.

When your spousal unit tells you that you have enough pictures of the  wildlife you just got a hint that its almost time.

When you are on the last few slots in your pill box it is almost time.

When your spousal unit wants to look at buying a condo, its definitely time!

Probably a lot more!

Wasting Away

After a wonderful afternoon at Henderson Beach State Park, we packed up our beach gear and made our way back to the parking lot.  Since we had spent most of the day taking in this beautiful day wasting away, listening to the surf crashing on the beach, watching the pidgeons fight the gulls for bits of food, and drinking frozen margaritas, it just made since to end the day eating a cheeseburger in Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville!

We made our way to the Harbor Walk, down by Destin Harbor.  Lots of activity down there with addition of additional store fronts.  As we strolled by the booth for the Margaritaville Vacation Club, we were stopped by an older lady that was all decked out in Margaritaville attire.  She tried to entice us with her friendly conversation.  As we accepted a merchant discount card from her, it was real obvious that she "ain't from around here".

We joked around a bit, and learned that she was a retiree, originally from the State of Maine.  I mentioned that I have a friend, Penny Winger, that is stranded in Northern Maine with her husband JL due to his job with the National Weather Service.  She is an Alabama gal trying to deal with nine months of snow and ice.  We compared stories of dining on Maine lobsters on our trips to the North Country.  It won't be long before they are once again iced in, poor ole Penny!

Our wait for a table was very short.  Our spot was a window seat on the harbor side.  The waiter had a shadow with him trying to learn the trade.  It was entertaining watching him, go back and try to work tables enjoying their food.  The dude has the lingo down, but he has a way to go to put his diners at ease.  I think I have eaten at way too many restaurants!

We gave the menu a good look, and stayed with our original idea of the Cheeseburger in Paradise.  Their menu has a limited number of items on it, so they pretty much have food prep down to a science.

As we waited for our food, sipping on a Landshark brew and a frozen Rita, we were drawn to the view of the harbor.  What a busy place this harbor is.  Boats of all kinds were coming and going. From deck boats, to fishing boats, to tourist attraction boats, the view of water traffic seemed endless.  We watched the pirate ship take forever to depart, then surprisingly return in less than an hour.

The building is of an open air design.  The gulf breeze provided for a pleasant dining experience.  We finished our meal and declined the desserts of the day.  It was time to make our way back to the car.  It's a challenge finding a parking spot and was a consistent theme as we dodged others looking for the same.

Got two days left on the vaca.  I'll continue to keep my eyes and ears open for interesting stories to tell.  Stay tuned my blog reading friends!